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The easy way – how to tie dye shoes

how to tie dye shoesSummer is right around the corner here and I’m excited to share how to tie dye shoes! If you have grubby white tennis shoes laying around, this is an easy way to give them new life. Or, buy a brand new pair and customize them! My kids are begging for a pair of their own now, I think we might end up with matching tie-dyed family shirts AND shoes by the end of summer!

This post was sponsored by Amazon Live; they provided all materials and compensated me for my time, but all opinions are my own!


pink tie dye shoes

I decided to go with a whole bunch of pinks & purples, putting some of my favorite colors all in one pretty ombre-ish stack. Once I started, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the other ways to customize plain canvas sneakers like this on top of the tie dye. Batik resist, hand embroidery, fabric markers, the sky is the limit.

one step tie dye kit

I’ve used this Tulip one-step tie dye kit several times before, so it was a perfect fit to share it again with this post! This big one comes with a ton of colors, I loved having so many options to pick from. With this kit you just add water and shake, no soda ash needed, which makes it fast and easy.

summer shoe craft

You can see some spatter on the fabric if you’re nit-picky; it was starting to rain and I didn’t shake one of the dye bottles up well enough! I think it adds character though; making things look store bought has never been my goal.

If you like this post, check these out while you’re here!

Pin this tutorial for how to tie dye shoes with this link or collage image:

tie dye shoes tutorial

Ready to make your own?

How to tie dye shoes



First, WASH your shoes! Get any fabric chemicals off that fabric before you dye.

Step 1: Use the painter’s tape to cover up the soles, carefully and precisely. I had one slip up and couldn’t get the dye off for anything (mineral spirits, nail polish remover, bleach, dawn soap, magic eraser) BUT it was easily painted over with white paint, if you find yourself in similar straits. Take out the laces if you don’t want them dyed too.

Step 2: I chose to get my shoes wet! I wanted nice, blended lines. You can start with them dry as well, just a matter of preference.

Step 3: Time to dye! I just gently squirted it on, starting with dark purple and mixing in several pinks back to a lighter coral on the heel.

Step 4: I used a paintbrush & water to further blend the colors.

Step 5: Wrap it up in plastic and leave it for 6-8 hours! Overnight is easiest, in my opinion.

Step 6. Unwrap, wash, and enjoy!

Would you wear these shoes? I love that tie dye is popular this year!

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Barbie Burris

Saturday 10th of June 2023

Great job I’ve always loved tye dye and cant wait to try.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 3rd of July 2023

hope you have fun with it!


Friday 16th of August 2019

To get the dye off the sole, you might try dabbing on pure bleach (carefully!) I got some of that stuff on my laminate counter once, and bleach took it right off. I have also tie-dyed shirts and used a bleach pen to write white designs in the dyed part. (Have a bucket of water close by, to stop the bleaching immediately when the bleach reaches the look you want.)

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 21st of August 2019

I tried a bleach spray and a bleach pen to no avail!!


Tuesday 21st of May 2019

How did you keep the keds tag white? Did you tape it up too?

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 24th of May 2019

No! I just realized that it stayed white. It is polyester so the dye didn't stick to it.


Tuesday 21st of May 2019

I love them! I love the ombré effect you did.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Friday 24th of May 2019

Thank you Brenda!!

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